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October 04, 2013 AT 4:17 AM
By Philip Pullella ASSISI, Italy (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Church, from the lowliest priest to the pontiff himself, must strip itself of all "vanity, arrogance and pride" and humbly serve the poorest members of society, Pope Francis said on Friday. The pope's appeal, made in the central Italian hill town of Assisi where his namesake Saint Francis lived in the 12th century, comes amid a drive by Francis to turn around a Church plagued by financial and sexual abuse scandals. Saint Francis is revered by Catholics and many other Christians for his simplicity, poverty and love of nature. ...